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June 15, 2008

Sticker It To 'Em

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

A few months ago I posted about a set of political bumper stickers I noticed in the neighborhood.

I am pleased to report that Your Obedient Servant is still on the case, Seattle and its University of Washington environs being a hotbed of printed paper and adhesives. While I really, truly would like to get photos of a car smeared with non-leftie stickers, alas I have thus far failed. But I'll keep my eyes peeled and digital camera hooked on my belt should I spot that prey.

Meanwhile, here are two examples of citizens doing their best to educate passersby.


I took this photo today, but see the decorated Prius often because it's usually parked near a street I drive every few days. The black and yellow sticker near the tail light says "Send our kids to college not Iraq!" I find this truly enlightening because I hadn't realized that college and Iraq was an either-or situation. Although this goes beyond the content of the sticker, it raised the question of the possibility that BusHitler might be sending press gangs to shanghai college students for shipment to Mosul and Basra.

The owner of the Prius was kind enough to offer readers the remedy of voting for Obama. After all, criticism without proposing a solution is pretty vacuous. Oh wait! There even another solution. Over on the left I read the word "Impeach" in big letters. Wonder if that applies to Bush or if he's getting geared up for Obama; sadly, the sticker offers no clue.

This vehicle hangs out a lot at the University Village shopping center, an upscale retailing paradise down the hill from the UW's Greek Row. These pictures were taken during the winter.
The yellow sticker above the license plate reads "Killing one person is murder. Killing thousands is domestic policy. Investigate 9/11." That seems to set the scene. Close-ups follow.

Okay, I misled you. It is a close-up, but of a sign inside a side-window.

And this was one of the signs inside the rear window. The images are Photoshpped pictures of Adminstration officials upon whose heads are placed old photos of hats, probably mostly those of World War 2 Wehrmacht officers who, by the way, weren't necessarily members of the National Socialist German Workers Party. Anyway, that's Bush at the top left, and Condi Rice is at the center of the lower row.

I spotted the vehicle recently and noticed that this sign had been removed. I don't know why, but will speculate that it suddenly dawned on the owner that here in fascist AmeriKKKa, he was running a serious risk of hearing a 3 a.m. knock on the door and being swept off to one of the many concentration camps the Administration surely has established. No sign of an Obama sticker, so it's unclear if this patriot has a solution in mind other than a trial under undetermined auspices. I'll be on the alert and will report if I find new evidence.



posted by Donald at June 15, 2008


If you are even a day out of college, you are seriously embarrassing yourself with this sort of thing. Why does it always seem to be left of center types? Are there right of center bumper-stickered cars that I am missing and what do those myriad bumperstickers say?

Anyway, the stickers are useful. They tell me to avoid the person driving the car, and, indeed, the car itself. Change lanes, don't park next to! Hey, wait a minute. I should do this to my car! Very clever.

Posted by: onparkstreet (MD) on June 15, 2008 6:56 PM

In addition to slathering hybrids with stickers liberals (and I am one, only I exercise restraint when it comes to covering my car) seem incapable of short slogans. Aside from the "Impeach Bush" stickers, which are short and to the point, you frequently see stickers with far too many words to read while passing them on the freeway. "Peace is a really good idea and far preferable to war and oh, by the way, don't eat animals and be sure to lie green."

Posted by: Decca on June 15, 2008 9:21 PM

Sorry, that should be "be sure to live green." I lost my "v" somewhere...

Posted by: Decca on June 15, 2008 9:57 PM

"...and be sure to lie green."

Sorry, that should be "be sure to live green." I lost my "v" somewhere...

You were right the first time.

Posted by: Anonymous on June 15, 2008 10:45 PM

I am curious - I see a skull on one of those rear window shots - what does that one say?

America - where politics is a blood sport.

In my mind, no matter whether the stickers are liberal-slanted or conservative-slanted, the larger message is "bigoted idiot". Who puts crap like that on their car and doesn't expect to get a double eagle salute every day from their fellow road warriors?

Posted by: Cowtown Pattie on June 15, 2008 11:29 PM

Believe I read this last week at the Arts & Letters Daily website (the best web site ever). Anyway, recent verifiable studies show that the more bumper stickers that are on a car, the more likely it is that that driver will be a perpetrator of a road rage attack. Someone might check me on that.

Anyway, I generally assume that the more bumper stickers that a car has that tell me how or what to think, well the narrower and more ignorant the occupant.

The "Straight by not narrow" sticker suggests nazidom to me.

Posted by: Larry on June 16, 2008 1:02 AM

For those kids killed in Iraq who hoped to go on to college, it was kind of an either/or thing, wasn't it?

Posted by: Steve on June 16, 2008 1:06 AM

The left are tireless in their efforts to educate. Where I live in rural NSW you get the odd conservative sticker supporting mining or some such thing but the most common stickers would be for ecological or indigenous causes. Curiously, the drivers of these vehicles - which seem to consist of metal and to run quite dirtily on petroleum - would only have to make a left-turn off the Pacific Highway to experience a real aboriginal community; another half-mile would bring them to some of that eucalypt forest they are so keen on 'saving'. They are, however, far too eager to get on to Byron Bay or Nimbin for the latest conference or doubt centred on ecological and indigenous themes.

Re the manipulation of old photos: one of the most blatant abuses would have to be the cover of John Cornwell's 'Hitler's Pope'. The picture is of the papal nuncio Roncalli - later Pius XII - being saluted and guarded by German troops as he issues from a building. The effect relies on selective focus - and viewer's s ignorance - to obscure the fact that this was a visit by the nuncio to the democratic government of the Weimar Republic!

Posted by: Robert Townshend on June 16, 2008 2:05 AM

Steve -- I suspect the intent of the sticker was a "butter, not guns" argument. Regardless, our troops in Iraq are volunteers, not conscripts. So one might as justly say that a teenager killed in a traffic accident might have hoped to go to college but was deprived of the opportunity.

Pattie -- It says "9.11 The Greatest Lie Ever Told"

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on June 16, 2008 10:37 AM

Donald: except not all of those volunteers did so with full disclosure. How quickly we forget (or ignore) the lying recruiters telling applicants "the war is over, you won't get killed" or forging documents. Forget the fact that they've headed to Iraq under the pretext that there was a reason for being there. Now that we know it was a well-crafted lie, they should be brought home. Like the bumper sticker says, "Support our troops, bring them home to their families"

But, I came to address the "college or Iraq, either-or" question: yes, it is either-or. Firstly, if we weren't wasting hundreds of billions of dollars bombing freedom into the Iraqis, there might be some money left over to send our own kids to college. Right now, the most likely way kids are going to get college assistance is to join the military. If they're fortunate enough to survive, they'll be able to afford a community-college education. Yay for them.

It just never ceases to amaze me how people are derided in this country for caring about the lives and freedoms of others. Did the owner of the car go overboard? Perhaps. Perhaps he's also just completely frustrated with the ignorance of the people around him. Perhaps he's just amazed that despite everything known about him, people would consider voting Bush in for a third term (under the name "McCain"). It's frustrating to stare into the mindless, cow-like eyes of a Republican and know they'll never have a clue, but still he tries. Why? Because it's important.

Posted by: Upstate Guy on June 16, 2008 11:14 AM

The sticker-maniacs remind me of the kind of crank who hands out leaflets about his pet cause on street corners, or who posts stickers on lampposts. Both give off the same vibe of mental illness masquerading as political commitment. Both seem to feel the need to push all these very aggressive, imperative-voiced slogans into your face. Note how the vocabulary does not invite discussion, it demands assent. Note the garish colours, the thick blocky print, the (sigh) use of Nazi symbols. These guys are the semi-whackjobs who demand, simply DEMAND, to be heard, but who have no interest at all in listening to anyone else. If only these pathetic bores would, could, learn how to listen, they might get more attention than they do. But then, you can't listen via a bumpersticker, can you?

Posted by: PatrickH on June 16, 2008 11:31 AM

Cars with lots of bumper stickers in a college town! Newsflash!

I'm a dirty liberal and I hate the bumper sticker thing, but come on, what exactly is the point of this post? Whip up the base or something?

Posted by: JV on June 16, 2008 12:11 PM

Give me a note at the email address and I'll buy you lunch in the zone.

Posted by: vanderleun on June 16, 2008 12:13 PM

Ah, thanks, Donald.

Posted by: Cowtown Pattie on June 16, 2008 12:20 PM

I have no bumper stickers on my car; it would serve no purpose. Political discussion is about, well, discussion.

I prefer to wear irritating t-shirts. My "I just neutered the cat, now he's a liberal" has started all sorts of interesting discussions at Starbucks in my moonbat Massachusetts town. My "Weather forcast for Mecca, partial Sunnis and scattered Shiites" shirt is another proven winner, with the added bonus of only being understood by the informed; your average moonbat can't articulate what's wrong with the shirt, but it must be bad because that opinionated nut is wearing it. My favorite, though, is the "Yes, your God is the problem with the world" shirt I had made. People ask all the time which god I mean, and are flummoxed by the "All of them" answer!

Posted by: Brutus on June 16, 2008 12:51 PM

What cracks me up - and I live in West Seattle - is that people gather on the most liberal corner of the most liberal intersection of the most liberal part of the most liberal city I know to protest the war, Bush, etc. Who are they trying to convince? EVERYONE there agrees with them!

The inaugural post on my own burgeoning blog said this:

To me, protesting is like being uncontrollably horny while being irreversibly unattractive. No matter how much effort you put in, the only satisfaction you get at the end of the day is from yourself.

Posted by: Andy on June 16, 2008 1:56 PM

Firstly, if we weren't wasting hundreds of billions of dollars bombing freedom into the Iraqis, there might be some money left over to send our own kids to college. Right now, the most likely way kids are going to get college assistance is to join the military. If they're fortunate enough to survive, they'll be able to afford a community-college education. Yay for them.

American soldiers and Marines are amazingly underpaid. As for money left over to send our kids to college, I suggest that Harvard and other elite US universities use their massive endowments to end all tuition fees, and furthermore, to create opportunities for Iraq war veterans to attend their storied demesnes. You know, "support the troops", and all.

Posted by: PatrickH on June 16, 2008 7:21 PM

I'm with Decca on the bumper sticker thing. They're an accident waiting to happen, specifically some of the longer epistles posted on the lower backside of a car which definitely takes one's eye off of the road. I'm a sucker for reading these things as I'm fascinated in the mindset of people who take a serious bent on showing what simple (as in simpleton) thoughts and concepts are bouncing around their heads seeking purchase with a brain cell.

In our little burgh, through which I-95 cuts a dividing path, there is an infamous off-ramp that ends in a T with a light that is always red when you get off I-95. A slow death is guaranteed to all who dare use this off-ramp. Some soul, blessed with exuberance and an overstock of bumper stickers, started plastering the metal barricade running the length of the off-ramp with bumper stickers. Other folks joined in and now the side-rail is totally plastered for about 200 feet with bumper stickers. Like a snake's skin, some stickers peel off to be immediately replaced with new messages. There are ads for bars, massage parlors, political candidates, orifices a particular office holder should be investigating with their head (conservative, moderate, & liberal officials are included), and various college stickers. It makes waiting for the light to change almost a pleasure and it's the best (and safest) use of a bumper sticker I've ever seen.

Posted by: DarkoV on June 17, 2008 8:25 AM

Nice, realistic suggestion, PatrickH. Only problem is, schools like that are made up of the kinds of conservatives who'd rather see a kid dead than educated.

Forgot to mention my own favorite bumpersticker: "The 9/11 hijackers prayed to god, too" oughta generate some conversation.

Posted by: Upstate Guy on June 17, 2008 8:55 AM

Schools like Harvard?

Posted by: PatrickH on June 17, 2008 11:52 AM

One thing never changes: disagree with a lib and you're a FASCIST!

Posted by: ricpic on June 17, 2008 12:13 PM

I would venture to guess that both more AND a higher percentage of high school graduates are going to college than at any time in our history.

But maybe Upstate Guy is correct and we had a free college matriculation bill ready to go through Congress right before the start of the Iraq war.

Posted by: Pat Hobby on June 17, 2008 7:24 PM

The numbers indicate that, yes, a slightly higher percentage of kids are going to college. But, as expected, the overwhelmingly highest percentage that graduate are rich, white kids who've already had a good education to begin with and are actually prepared for the experience. Those who can't afford private prep schools (or are barred from going because of the color of their skin) are given the shrift.

But, hey, maybe if they just got off their lazy asses and tried, they do better, right?

Posted by: Upstate Guy on June 18, 2008 9:29 AM

Any right of centred bumper stickers that you are missing, onparkstreet?

I see lots of W, pro life and "support our troops stickers" on every other car.
You must live in Lib country.

Posted by: Michael, Atlanta on June 22, 2008 2:03 PM

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